Our team’s journey into the INSPIRE program began with a sense of excitement and anticipation. On the second day, we gathered to watch the project presentation delivered by the CRD manager and IT support staff. The presentation was our first glimpse into the idea we would be focusing on for the entire semester. As the presentation unfolded, a range of emotions surfaced within our group. Some of us felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the project, the expectations placed on us, and the challenges ahead. However, beneath these initial feelings, we were all eager to embrace the semester’s opportunities and tackle the problem that had been presented to us.

In the following weeks, our team took deliberate steps to build a strong foundation. We recognize the importance of getting to know each other better, not just on a personal level but also in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Understanding how each team member handles stress and deadlines allowed us to establish a sense of trust and confidence in one another. This insight will be invaluable as we venture further into the semester.

Our early experiences also served as invaluable learning opportunities. We dove into the principles of Design Thinking and equipped ourselves with the tools to approach problems creatively and with a user-centered focus. Our interviewing skills have improved significantly. We can extract valuable insights from our CP (community partner) to better understand their needs. The first playback session underscored the importance of feedback, emphasizing that constructive criticism is a pathway to improvement.

Looking back on these initial two weeks, it’s evident that we’ve made significant progress, but we also recognize the need for continued growth. Familiarizing ourselves with the current processes and equipment used by our CP is a priority. This will provide us with a deeper understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and the existing capacity of their equipment, allowing us to pinpoint areas for improvement. Our experience while developing the Project Charter, particularly the Context and Need sections, revealed the importance of having a comprehensive grasp of the CRD’s current practices to provide a strong background for our project. In the upcoming sprint, our focus will shift towards setting up an interview with our CP. This step is crucial to confirm our understanding of the current problem and situation, providing early reassurance and preparing us for success later in the semester.

The journey had begun with a mix of emotions; excitement, feeling overwhelmed and determination.  The road ahead will be challenging, but we are committed to learning and growing together as a team. The insights gained in these early weeks will serve as a strong foundation for the semester’s work, ensuring that we are well-prepared to face the complexities and uncertainties of our project with confidence.